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Recent Alumni (since 2016)

Heather Blankenship, Ph.D. Heather Blankenship, Ph.D.

Heather received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2019. Her Ph.D. research focused on genetic and phenotypic variation in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Heather also worked on a joint project involving the genomics of foodborne pathogens at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Megan Shiroda, M.S., Ph.D. Megan Shiroda, M.S., Ph.D.

Megan earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2019. Her research focused on examining the impact of Lactobacillus spp. on Group B Streptococcus (GBS) interactions with the placental membranes. She also isolated bacteriophages for GBS from intestinal microbial communities.

Brian Nohomovich, M.S., Ph.D. Brian Nohomovich, M.S., Ph.D.

Brian earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2019 while simultaneously pursuing his D.O. degree. His Ph.D. research focused on characterizing the microbiome in humans with and without enteric infections, and isolating protective bacteriophages that target enteric pathogens.

Sanjana Mukherjee, M.S., Ph.D. Sanjana Mukherjee, M.S., Ph.D.

Sanjana earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in December of 2018. Her projects focused on the molecular epidemiology and genomics of antibiotic resistant strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and non-typhoidal Salmonella.

Rebecca Flaherty, Ph.D. Rebecca Flaherty, Ph.D.

Rebecca earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 and was a postdoctoral researcher from 2017-2019. Her work focused on characterizing host responses to group B streptococcal infections.

Wonhee Cha, D.V.M, Ph.D., M.S. Wonhee Cha, D.V.M, Ph.D., M.S.

Wonhee earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology at MSU in 2015 on the molecular epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance and genomics of Campylobacter jejuni and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Her postdoctoral research involved examining the intestinal microbiome and resistome.

Michelle Korir, Ph.D. Michelle Korir, Ph.D.

Michelle earned her Ph.D. in December 2016 in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Her project focused on comparing a hypervirulent lineage (ST-17) of group B Streptococcus to other lineages to determine how they interact with human cells as a way to examine their capacity to cause disease.

Katherine Jernigan Katherine Jernigan

Kathy worked on isolating microbial community DNA from patients with enteric infections and extracted epidemiological data from surveillance sites.  She retired full time from MSU in 2015 and continued to work in the lab part-time for a few years afterwards.

Robert Parker, Ph.D. Robert Parker, Ph.D.

Robert earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2016. His work focused on characterizing unique attributes, both molecular and phenotypic, of disease-causing lineages of group B Streptococcus to better understand mechanisms of pathogenesis.

Pallavi Singh, Ph.D. Pallavi Singh, Ph.D.

Pallavi worked as a Research Associate between 2011 and 2018. Her studies focused on characterizing the intestinal microbial communities in patients with enteric disease and cattle using 16S rRNA sequencing, and examining the genomics of multiple pathogens including STEC and Streptococcus agalactiae.

Joe B. Joe B.

Joe was an undergraduate researcher studying antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter jejuni.

David Knupp David Knupp

Dave graduated in 2016 with a degree in Genomics and Molecular Genetics, minoring in Global Public Health and Epidemiology.  He constructed mutants and performed bioinformatic analyses.

Clare Laut Clare Laut

Clare graduated in 2016 majoring in Genomics and Molecular Genetics.  She studied phenotypic changes in GBS in the presence of environmental stressors such as acidity and antibiotics as they relate to pathogenesis.

Moriah M. Moriah M.

Moriah worked as a Professorial Assistant for two years. She performed serotyping of non-O157 strains of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

Matthew P. Matthew P.

Matt was an undergraduate researcher, who graduated in 2016. His work focused on characterizing E. coli strains and examining the epidemiology of Shigella infections.

Jessica Plemmons Jessica Plemmons

Jessica graduated from MSU in 2016. She studied the molecular epidemiology of GBS isolates from Nigeria.

Brian S. Brian S.

Brian graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2018 and worked on group B Streptococcus survival mechanisms inside macrophages.

Bridget W. Bridget W.

Bridget worked as an undergraduate researcher. She studied how group B Streptococcus interacted with human tissues and helped to characterize bacteriophages from human intestinal samples.